China successfully launched three new remote sensing satellites into orbit with a Long March-2D carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Thursday.
The satellites, the second batch of the Yaogan-35 family, will be mainly used to conduct scientific experiments, land resource surveys, yield estimation of agricultural products and disaster prevention and reduction. This launch marked the 424th mission for the Long March series of carrier rockets.
Long March-2D, developed by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, has a liftoff weight of 300 metric tons and is capable of transporting multiple satellites to different orbits. It has a carrying capacity of 1.2 tons to typical sun-synchronous orbit with an altitude of 700 kilometers, a space often occupied by weather or remote-sensing satellites. At present, the carrier rocket has successfully completed 60 launch missions.
In terms of technological innovation, aiming at the mission of transporting multiple satellites, this rocket is equipped with a de-orbit subsystem on the load cabin. Through a series of measures, such as autonomous optical aiming, airtight test optimization, the test and launch process in the launch site has been compressed to 10 days.
Moreover, the rainproof ability of the electrical system is enhanced, which is to adapt to the high temperature, heavy rain and thunderstorm in Xichang in summer.